Queenswood’s Junior Hockey Players in Barcelona
Thursday 5 November 2015
During the first week of the October halfterm Queenswood’s Junior Hockey players headed to Barcelona for our 12th annual
tour. It was certainly an intensive week: girls trained and played for five to
six hours a day and worked with some of Spain’s top coaches, including the
national GK coach. In between Hockey we also managed to visit the Marina, the
Olympic Park and Museum, Las Ramblas and the Gaudi Park. The girls also found time for a quick visit
to the beach and a dip in the pool.
Bus journeys became a highlight of the
tour, with the fines committee taking to the microphone, regular sing-offs between
year groups and staff, as well as the night time Karaoke Bus with some
excellent solos (Miss Pratt). There were moments when we could have easily been
mistaken for a choir tour!
Sander van der Weide (one of Holland’s best
ever players, winner of Olympic Gold and Silver medals as well as a world
championship Gold) also ran a coaching clinic for the girls and was truly
inspirational. On the final day of Hockey Sander joined our inter-tour
tournament and played with each team in turn. Afterwards he gave autographs
posed for photographs, allowed the girls to wear his medals and answered
questions about his international playing career. Very few hockey players will
ever have the opportunity to play with a player of such standing and our girls
appreciated and embraced the experience.
Our three teams played three matches each
against strong club opposition. The U14s were joined for one match by some Q
staff players to take on the 3rd best U14 team in Holland. Although we didn’t win,
it was a great match, in which the team demonstrated many of their new skills
and improved tactically.
Our best result of the tour was an U14 4-2 win over
Illuro, a physical game where the U14s showed real skill and determination with
great goals from Beth Toeman, Gabby M-P, Shakka Egbo and Olivia Pickard as well
as a confident performance by Brooke Henley in goal.
We have calculated that by the end of the
week the girls and staff had covered a term’s work! The opportunity to focus so
fully on Hockey really does develop our junior players the improvement is
immense. The girls have arrived back in England ready to take on the best.
- Player of the Tournament – Gabby M-P
- U14 Player of the Tour – Shakka Egbo
- U14 Most Improved Player – Olivia Pickard
- U13A Player of the Tour – Hannah Kilpatrick
- U13A Most Improved Player – Jemima Bisseker
- U13B Player of the Tour – Ellie Gilmore
- U13B Most Improved Player – Holly Dench
- GK of the Tournament – Brooke Henley
- GK Improvement Award – Emma Meyer